A 199th overall draft pick taking the job from a 1st overall pick. Tom Brady eclipsing Drew Bledsoe is one of the most pivotal moments ever in football, that was the birth of the greatest NFL career of all time.
In the 2001 NFL season, Drew Bledsoe was still the Patriots’ starting QB. The former 1st overall pick had some success in New England and the team was comfortable with him under center.
However, in the 2nd game of the season against the Jets, Bledsoe went down with a scary injury that caused internal bleeding in the chest area. Enter Tom Brady.
The scarcely-known, lanky, 6th round pick out of Michigan had big shoes to fill. And that’s exactly what he did. After starting the season 0-2 with Bledsoe, the Pats finished 11-5 with Brady leading the way.
They earned a first round bye, before beating the Raiders in the infamous “Tuck Rule” game. In the AFC Championship against the Steelers, Brady injured his knee and was briefly replaced by Bledsoe as the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl.
But in the big game, Brady returned and led New England to their first Championship, beating the Rams 20-17 and winning Super Bowl MVP.
Bledsoe was traded away the following offseason and the rest, as they say, is history. Brady winning a position battle against someone named Drew, sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Tom Brady Refused to Give Up the Starting Job
Ty Law, former Patriots CB, had an interesting story about how determined Brady was to be the starter. “When he finally got the job and was named the starter,” Law explained, “our thought as a defense was, ‘Just don’t mess it up.'”
“I remember us hanging out and he said something to me that, to this day, still resonates with me. We had a good quarterback in Drew Bledsoe, and here’s Tom saying, ‘He isn’t getting this f—ing job back.’ ”
“As a competitor, I was like, ‘This is how you’re supposed to think.’ At the same time, I’m thinking to myself, ‘This is the NFL! This is Drew Bledsoe — a former No. 1 overall pick with a big contract! OK, good luck with that.'”
“But Tom didn’t look it at that way. It was no disrespect to Drew. He was determined to make it hard on [Bill] Belichick and Mr. Kraft to put Drew back on the field.”